Overplayed Songs We Never Want to Hear Again
It’s a worn-out joke by now: No matter who’s onstage, someone will yell ‘Free Bird’ during their set. Guaranteed. But it doesn’t come as a surprise. The song’s ubiquity over the past 40 years has made it a familiar part of the landscape. Maybe too familiar. How many times can one person hear ‘Free Bird’ in his lifetime? No surprise either that it’s one of the most Overplayed Songs We Never Want to Hear Again. Don’t get us wrong. We love these songs. There’s a good reason they’re considered classics. But the artists have other cuts we’d like to hear once in a while. There’s no reason to hog the airwaves with just one way overplayed song.
Weezer’s breakthrough song (and our personal favorite) remains the cornerstone of their career — a slightly goofy, super-catchy power-pop tune that pretty much sums up the group in less than three minutes. Weezer have released seven albums since ‘Buddy Holly”s appearance on their 1994 debut, but you wouldn’t know it from the oodles of airplay the song still receives.
No matter the occasion, Green Day’s 1997 ballad (really a Billie Joe Armstrong solo acoustic cut) has been there: birth, death, retirement, end of summer vacation, the last goldfish cracker in the box. ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ is made for memories, especially if you’re handy with a video editor that allows you to pull together dozens of blurry photographs about all the awesome times you’ve had over the past decade/year/24 hours. Add the song, and you’ve got an instant musical photo album that looks exactly like 3.2 million others available online, on TV shows and on your mom’s computer.
‘I Wanna Be Sedated’
The Ramones received virtually no airplay back when they were revolutionizing music in the ’70s. But sometime over the past 30 years, nostalgia kicked in and made the scruffy punks an overly familiar presence with TV, movie and commercial-radio audiences. The band released 14 albums during its career, but the same two or three songs show up everywhere these days, including TV shows, video games, movies and even the supermarket. ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ is the most popular.
We could have picked any number of Pearl Jam tracks for our list of Overplayed Songs We Never Want to Hear Again: ‘Alive,’ ‘Even Flow,’ ‘Black’ — all curiously from their debut album. But ‘Jeremy’ seems to be the one that hits us at every turn. Given the song’s subject matter — a kid kills himself in front of his classmates — it’s a bit surprising ‘Jeremy’ receives so much repeat airplay these days, especially since it was frequently banned upon its original release. Maybe they’re making up for all those lost spins?
Yeah, yeah, we get it — Nirvana’s instant classic pretty much changed the way music was made, heard and digested in the ’90s. But that awesome opening guitar riff has lost much of its potency over the past 20 years because the song is played so damn much. We love ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit'; we’d even call it the most important song of the past quarter century. But it’s this close to becoming indie rock’s version of ‘Free Bird.’